Francesco Enrichetti's research while affiliated with Università degli Studi di Genova and other places

Publications (22)

Article
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Among Mediterranean habitat-forming alcyonaceans, the sea fan Eunicella verrucosa is known to form dense forests at circalittoral depths, providing seascape complexity and sustaining a rich associated fauna. Its occurrence in the Tavolara–Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area (NE Sardinia) has never been deeply investigated despite this area bei...
Article
This study presents a description of Bispira riccardi sp. nov., a new habitat-forming sabellid polychaete from the mesophotic NW Mediterranean Sea. Individuals, up to 20 cm long, show a peculiar morphology of radioles, thoracic uncini, companion chaetae and ventral shield of the collar. The phylogenetic position of this new taxon in the genus Bispi...
Article
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Chilean Patagonia hosts one of the extensive fjord systems in the world, spanning more than 1,600 km between 41 and 55°S, and with a complex geomorphology and hydrography that supports rich and unique assemblages of marine fauna. The biodiversity of benthic organisms is possibly further enhanced by the geographic position of the region that extends...
Article
• Detailed knowledge about the distribution of species in need of protection is required for the management of Marine Protected Areas, a major tool to reduce marine biodiversity loss. Such knowledge is deficient for most marine invertebrates. • Axinella polypoides is a marine sponge included on the list of protected species by the Barcelona Convent...
Article
ALDFGs (abandoned, lost or otherwise discharged fishing gears) represent a major pollutant in the world’s oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, but very little is known about their long-term fate in the underwater environment. Here we investigate the destiny of ALDFGs in a coralligenous benthic community by studying the biofouling growing on the...
Article
The squat lobster Munida gregaria is considered a key species within food webs of sub-Antarctic ecosystems of South America, and represents a fundamental link between detritus and higher-level predators. Although ecological aspects of its lengthy pelagic phase have been well described, those of the benthic stage remain poorly understood, particular...
Article
Differently from the North Atlantic Ocean, only few examples of sponge grounds are known from the Mediterranean Sea, mainly thriving in the deep sea. In this study, a novel temperate mesophotic ecosystem dominated by massive keratose sponges is reported from the Ligurian deep continental shelf. An extensive Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) survey al...
Article
• Seamounts host some of the most important deep‐sea ecosystems. The unique environmental characteristics of seamounts sustain rich biological hot spots, which, in recent times, have suffered the effects of intense fishing pressure. • Biodiversity and vulnerability data are extremely scarce for Mediterranean seamounts, and this, in addition to the...
Article
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Black corals are important habitat-forming species in the mesophotic and deep-sea zones of the world’s oceans because of their arborescent colony structure and tendency to form animal forests. Although we have started unravelling the ecology of mesophotic black corals, the importance of the associated microbes to their health has remained unexplore...
Article
The gorgonians Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826) and Eunicella cavolini (Koch, 1887) are important habitat-forming species within the Mediterranean coralligenous habitats, creating complex, three-dimensional forests that greatly contribute to the underwater landscape of the coastal hard grounds. Dense forests of both species are present within the...
Article
Exceptional meteo-marine events, such as storms, may have profound effects on the structure of benthic communities, yet their consequences on these ecosystems in the Mediterranean basin are still poorly known, mainly due to the unpredictability of such phenomena as well as the general lack of comparative datasets. The highly destructive storm of fa...
Article
Litter has become a common component of marine ecosystems, and its assessment and monitoring are now of primary interest. Here, we characterized seafloor litter in the mesophotic depth range of the Ligurian Sea, one of the most urbanized basins of the Mediterranean Sea. Eighty sites (30–220 m depth) were investigated by by means of ROV video transe...
Article
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The Ligurian Sea is one of the most studied Mediterranean basins. Since the beginning of the last century, many research expeditions have characterized its benthic and pelagic fauna through scuba diving and trawl surveys. However, a large knowledge gap exists about the composition of benthic communities extending into the so-called mesophotic or tw...
Article
The main aims of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are the conservation of natural habitats and their biological resources, together with the promotion of an eco-compatible economic fruition. In Mediterranean MPAs, the main threats for hard bottom benthic communities come from fishing and mass tourism, in terms of boating and SCUBA diving. The Portofin...
Article
Temperate mesophotic reefs (circalittoral and offshore circalittoral hard/firm habitats), host complex three-dimensional animal forests and are vulnerable habitats protected by international agreements. In order to evaluate and monitor the environmental status of these ecosystems, the multi-parametric index Mesophotic Assemblages Conservation Statu...
Article
Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are characterized by prominent biological features susceptible to anthropogenic disturbances. Following international guidelines, the identification and protection of VMEs require a detailed documentation regarding both the community structure and the fishing footprint in the area. This combined information is la...
Article
Full-text available
Velella velella, the so-called by-the-wind sailor, is a common member of the open-ocean pleustonic fauna, worldwide distributed in tropical and temperate regions. Thanks to their sail protruding above the sea surface, floating polymorphic colonies of this hydrozoan are carried by winds, and tend to aggregate in large swarms, that often get stranded...
Article
• Despite the pluri‐decennial history of bottom trawling monitoring in the Italian Sea, limited attention has been given to the study of cold water corals (CWCs) present in the bycatch. As a result, trawl samples still hold a great potential to reveal information about deep‐water biodiversity. • The rare Mediterranean CWC species Placogorgia corona...
Article
Due to its complex hydrological, geomorphological and climatic features, the Chilean fjords region is considered among the most productive areas of the world. The benthic fauna of this region accounts for more than 1600 species showing marked latitudinal biogeographic differences characterizing this as one of the most important hotspot of biodivers...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster was produced with the support of the FAO-Norway Deep-Seas Fisheries Project (GCP/GLO/323/NOR).
Article
Full-text available
Partial D-loop sequences of museum specimens of brown trout and marble trout (Salmo trutta species complex) collected from Mediterranean rivers in the late 19th century were analysed to help to describe the native distribution of these species. All the individuals studied carried native haplotypes, the geographic distribution of which is consistent...
Article
Full-text available
During spring 2017, starting from 12 May, exceptional strandings of the purple snail Janthina pallida were recorded in the Ligurian Sea and along the western coast of Sardinia Island, under the effect of southern winds. The strandings continued for 3 days, until 15 May, when the winds shifted to the northern quadrant and the specimens were drifted...

Citations

... In many Chilean fjords it is common to find habitat-forming organisms, e.g., Desmophyllum dianthus (and other hard coral facies), gorgonian forests, mussel belts, holothurian gardens and different sponges. These organisms increase available substratum surface areas, offering new habitats for many sessile and mobile benthic organisms that mostly make use of a filter-feeding trophic strategy (Häussermann and Försterra, 2009;Försterra et al., 2016;Cárdenas and Montiel, 2017;Betti et al., 2017Betti et al., , 2021. Because they mobilize an important portion of the fresh OM derived from primary production, these organisms dominate and are key to epibenthic communities (Häussermann and Försterra, 2009;Betti et al., 2017Betti et al., , 2021. ...
... Fig. 12B) e della nave oceanografica ' Astrea', si è concentrato, tra il 2012 ed il 2016, su cinque siti (Punta del Faro, Secche di San Giorgio, Cala degli Inglesi, Isuela e Punta Chiappa ovest) per un totale di 12 immersioni tra 40 e 110 m. Questi studi hanno permesso di mappare le comunità megabentoniche della zona mesofotica, con particolare attenzione per quelle dominate da specie strutturanti in grado di formare foreste tridimensionaliAzzola et al., 2021). Delle 12 comunità identificate per la Liguria, nove sono state riscontrate anche lungo il Promontorio, di cui sei dominate da specie strutturanti come spugne, antozoi e briozoi ad alto valore ecologico ed alta vulnerabilità. ...
... The mean abundance of M. gregaria in the three most superficial strata (4.00 ± 6.08, 40.33 ± 10.70 and 0.33 ± 0.58 specimens 12 h −1 , respectively) was higher than that previously recorded in the same strata (1.00 ± 0.52, 10.08 ± 3.93 and 0.08 ± 0.14 specimens 12 h −1 , respectively). The high abundances of M. gregaria that we recorded in the most superficial strata in June-October are similar to those reported by Betti et al., 2020 [27] for the Puyuhuapi and Jacaf fjords, and show the importance of M. gregaria as a key species within the sub-Antarctic marine ecosystem of South America, representing a fundamental trophic link between the detritus-based food chains and higherlevel predators [27]. ...
... The strongest trophic relationship is found between the species belonging to the genus Felimare and the keratose sponges they exclusively feed on (McDonald & Nybakken 1997), cooccurring down to 130 m and then completely disappearing. These species are particularly abundant in the Ligurian Sea, where keratose-dominated sponge grounds are widely documented at mesophotic depths (Enrichetti et al. 2020). A similar situation involves P. atromaculata, whose distribution mirrors that of its favourite food sources, the sponges P. ficiformis and H. fulva (Gemballa and Schermutzki, 2004), largely present in all the considered areas, but never below 150 m depth. ...
... Consistent with other studies (Martell et al., 2018;Enrichetti et al., 2021), hydrozoans (cnidarians) acted as primary colonizers, dominating eukaryotic assemblages on all substrate types at the first two sampling time points. In week-3, differences between bio-polymers were mainly driven by the differential abundance of arthropods, ascidians, and parasitic Syndiniales (Figure 4). ...
... In the last fifteen years, several ROV surveys were carried out along a large part of the Italian coasts, from the Ligurian Sea to the Sicily Channel, targeting the characterisation of the megabenthic biocoenoses dominated by structuring species thriving between 30 and 1825 m on hardgrounds and nearby soft seafloors (e.g., Bo et al. 2012Bo et al. , 2021Cau et al. 2015;Angiolillo et al. 2016Angiolillo et al. , 2021Altobelli et al. 2017;Enrichetti et al. 2019;Moccia et al. 2021). Such habitats constitute Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) (Del Mar Otero & Marin 2019), attracting a rich faunal biodiversity; however, the associated macrofauna was never specifically targeted. ...
... Contestualmente, grazie ai rilievi del Laboratorio di Oceanografia Biologica del DISTAV, sono stati ottenuti i profili stagionali di temperatura, salinità e clorofilla a nell'area rilevando l'influenza della plume tardo-estiva di acqua a 16 °C fino a 70 m di profondità. Nell' ambito di queste investigazioni, è stata studiata per la prima volta la stagionalità trofica di questo corallo (Coppari et al., 2020a), la variabilità del microbioma in funzione di sito e stagione ( Van De Water et al., 2020) ed il grado di connettività genetica con altre popolazioni italiane (Terzin et al., 2021). Inoltre, individui mantenuti vivi nelle vasche dell' Acquario di Genova hanno rivelato tratti riproduttivi interessanti di questa specie come la capacità di frammentarsi e produrre propaguli asessuali in un processo noto come "bail-out" (Coppari et al., 2019(Coppari et al., , 2020b. ...
... With increasing impact from marine heatwaves (Darmaraki et al., 2019;Smale et al., 2019), the spread of NIS (Cebrian et al., 2018) and other cumulative human impacts including fishing both inside and outside of MPAs (Betti et al., 2020), there is an urgent need for reliable baseline information on the geographical distribution, health and impacts to major habitat-forming gorgonian species in the Mediterranean region (Otero et al., 2017). Current gorgonian species distributions are poorly known in the coastal waters of Italy and long-term and spatially extended monitoring datasets are rare, with most studies focussing on specific sites usually within MPAs (Cupido et al., 2009;Coma et al., 2009;Gambi et al., 2010;Crisci et al., 2011). ...
... Many Mediterranean localities endure impacts by anthropogenic pressure due to demersal fishing activities that pauperize three-dimensional benthic ecosystems, such as coral forests [10,26,35,40,69,[76][77][78][79][80][81]. In the Medes Islands (Catalan Sea), between 10% and 33% of the colonies in unprotected populations were partially colonized by epibionts, most likely following tissue injury, whereas only from 4% to 10% of the populations in a marine protected area was affected [76], suggesting that fishing activities directly cause severe damage expressed as epibiosis coverage. ...
... From January 2015 to April 2018, the seafloor of the restricted area was cleaned by the disturbances derived from the wreck removal (Remediation phase): A total of 25,000 t of sediment were removed. As a consequence of the sediment removal, dead portions of coralligenous reefs were revealed (Fig. 5), likewise the sediment-exposed terrace described after exceptional stormy events (Teixidó et al. 2013;Betti et al. 2020). Such bare surfaces represent unique substrates to study the natural recovery of coralligenous reefs: The application of photomosaic technique will help to comprehend the community succession patterns. ...